ROMAN EMPIRE, Julian II, Caesar, 335-360 AD, reduced centenionalis,


ROMAN EMPIRE, Julian II, Caesar, 335-360 AD, reduced centenionalis, no date (356-58 AD), Constantinople, Obverse: bare bust R, D N IVLIANVS NOB CAES, Reverse: soldier spearing fallen horseman, FEL TEMP REPARATIO, M in field, S CON, bronze, 17mm, 2.9g, SR19064, nice portrait & name, though the rest of the obverse legend is off, reverse is crowded, sharp in center, weak around rim, light porosity, VF/aF

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Sear points out that there was no “real” Julian I Roman Emperor. Julian and his brother Constantius Gallus were among the few survivors of the massacre of his family, who were half siblings of the family of Constantine the Great. Julian was a strong Pagan. Constantius II found that he needed him and made him a Caesar after executing his out of control brother. He governed and fought well, and succeeded as Augustus. His two main interests were to resume the forever war with Persia and evangelical Paganism. The latter activity created political disturbances. He died in the field in uncertain circumstances. We see in Julian’s reign a reform of the billon coinage, with a large bronze coin that was eventually reduced.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.